Tag Archives | Optics
Scientists Measure Speedy Electrons in Silicon

Scientists Measure Speedy Electrons in Silicon

The entire semiconductor industry, not to mention Silicon Valley, is built on the propensity of electrons in silicon to get kicked out of their atomic shells and become free. These mobile electrons are routed and switched though transistors, carrying the digital information that characterizes our age.   An international team of physicists and chemists based [...]

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Engineers Efficiently ‘Mix’ Light at Nanoscale

Engineers Efficiently ‘Mix’ Light at Nanoscale

The race to make computer components smaller and faster and use less power is pushing the limits of the properties of electrons in a material. Photonic systems could eventually replace electronic ones, but the fundamentals of computation, mixing two inputs into a single output, currently require too much space and power when done with light. [...]

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Outsmarting Thermodynamics in Self-Assembly of Nanostructures

Outsmarting Thermodynamics in Self-Assembly of Nanostructures

If you can uniformly break the symmetry of nanorod pairs in a colloidal solution, you’re a step ahead of the game toward achieving new and exciting metamaterial properties. But traditional thermodynamic -driven colloidal assembly of these metamaterials, which are materials defined by their non-naturally-occurring properties, often result in structures with high degree of symmetries in [...]

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Gold Nanoparticles Confine Light On Nanoscale

Gold Nanoparticles Confine Light On Nanoscale

A multidisciplinary team at the Centre d’Elaboration de Matériaux et d’Etudes Structurales (CEMES, CNRS), working in collaboration with physicists in Singapore and chemists in Bristol (UK), have shown that crystalline gold nanoparticles aligned and then fused into long chains can be used to confine light energy down to the nanometer scale while allowing its long-range [...]

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Blue LED Breakthrough for Efficient Electronics

Blue LED Breakthrough for Efficient Electronics

In a step that could lead to longer battery life in smartphones and lower power consumption for large-screen televisions, researchers at the University of Michigan have extended the lifetime of blue organic light emitting diodes by a factor of 10.   Blue OLEDs are one of a trio of colors used in OLED displays such [...]

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Quantum Info Transmitted Through Atmosphere

Quantum Info Transmitted Through Atmosphere

It could be difficult for the NSA to hack encrypted messages in the future — at least if a technology being investigated by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen and the University Erlangen-Nürnberg is successful: quantum cryptography. The physicists are now laying the foundation to make this technique, [...]

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Atomically Thin Material Opens Door for Integrated Nanophotonic Circuits

Atomically Thin Material Opens Door for Integrated Nanophotonic Circuits

A new combination of materials can efficiently guide electricity and light along the same tiny wire, a finding that could be a step towards building computer chips capable of transporting digital information at the speed of light.   Reporting today in The Optical Society’s (OSA) journal Optica, optical and material scientists at the University of [...]

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Light Sources for New Quantum Technology

Light Sources for New Quantum Technology

Electronic circuits are based on electrons, but one of the most promising technologies for future quantum circuits are photonic circuits, i.e. circuits based on light (photons) instead of electrons. First, it is necessary to be able to create a stream of single photons and control their direction. Researchers around the world have made all sorts [...]

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Laser-Like Light Emission: Optical Resonators

Laser-Like Light Emission: Optical Resonators

By combining plasmonics and optical microresonators, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created a new optical amplifier (or laser) design, paving the way for power-on-a-chip applications.   “We have made optical systems at the microscopic scale that amplify light and produce ultra-narrowband spectral output,” explained J. Gary Eden, a professor of electrical [...]

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Laser Pulse Turns Glass Into a Metal

Laser Pulse Turns Glass Into a Metal

For tiny fractions of a second, quartz glass can take on metallic properties, when it is illuminated be a laser pulse. This has been shown by calculations at the Vienna University of Technology. The effect could be used to build logical switches which are much faster than today’s microelectronics. Quartz glass does not conduct electric [...]

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